According to a July 2017 study by Bankrate.com, 44 million Americans report having a side hustle.
However, 64% of them earn less than $100/month from their side gig, while 36% make more than $500/month.
For many, a side hustle is an economic necessity. It’s an alternative – or addition – to a second job to make ends meet.
For others, a side hustle is the first step toward entrepreneurship.
And yet, the statistics for turning a side hustle into a full-time gig are bleak. I recently wrote about how 81% of bloggers make less than $100/month, while a mere 4% earn enough to comfortably quit their day job.
Only a select few side hustlers actually break through and grow their side hustle to replace their day job.
I know so many people who move from side hustle to side hustle, but never get any real traction. They either give up, and continue dreaming, and eventually try out yet another side business that is doomed to fail.
Or they get burnt out. They spin their wheels, and never find the traction to get their gig off the ground. So they surrender to their day job.
Or worse, they give up on their dream.
But I’ve turned my side hustle into my main gig twice.
Back in 2008, I quit my day job to become a full-time, freelance videographer.
Then I did it again in 2010 when Tracy and I turned our green smoothie blog side hustle into a six-figure business.
I’ve looked into why some people pour their precious time and energy into a side gig only to see it flounder, while others turn their passion into a highly profitable business.
Here are three things that set successful entrepreneurs apart from the part-time, amateur side hustlers:
1) It’s NEVER A Side Hustle!
If you want to become an entrepreneur, then rule number one is to NEVER EVER think of your side hustle as something you do on the side.
When you minimize the importance of what you do, and shove aside your dream, it will remain on the side.
It is too easy to put it on the back burner, or recoil at stepping outside of your comfort zone when things get tough.
Instead of having a side hustle, think of your business as your main gig. Your day job should be your side hustle.
When Tracy and I decided that we wanted to join the ranks of the top 4% of bloggers who earn six-figures from our website back in 2010, we decided that our blog would be our main gig from day one.
It wasn’t something we did in our spare time. It wasn’t a hobby. It wasn’t something we worked on IF we had time.
No, our website became our full-time job. We were bloggers. And we prioritized our fledgling business above social obligations, staying current with popular TV shows, and even our own comfort zone.
Tracy viewed her day job as her side hustle, instead – even though most of our income at the time came from her job. And my videography business became my side hustle, too.
2) We Are Willing To Get Uncomfortable
Here’s the other major difference between side hustlers and successful entrepreneurs – successful entrepreneurs are willing to leap outside of their comfort zone – over and over again.
There is nothing comfortable about starting a business. You put in long hours, and for very little pay in the beginning.
You push yourself to the limits of your skill to find that you are capable to stepping up to any challenge.
You force yourself to have uncomfortable conversations – whether it’s acquiring clients, or communicating your value, raising your rates, or simply choosing not to work with somebody, or not taking on a project – even though you desperately NEED the money.
If you are ever going to turn your side hustle into your main gig, then you HAVE to – absolutely have to – be willing to
step leap outside of your comfort zone.
If you aren’t regularly pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, you’re not growing. You’re not taking the necessary steps to grow your side hustle beyond a low-paying time suck.
3) We Are Willing To Invest In It
I don’t know why, but a LOT of people believe that they can turn their side hustle into a successful business that will replace their day job without having to spend a dime on it.
Maybe the internet is somewhat to blame for this idea.
There are over 2-million Google results for the term “start a business on a shoestring budget”.
With so much free information out there, a lot of people think that all they have to do is read a bunch of blog posts, subscribe to a few newsletters, and join a Facebook group or two, and they will have everything they need to go from broke to six-figures with a side hustle.
Reality check – it doesn’t work like that!
I get it, a lot of us were broke when we created our side hustle. I mean, that’s one of the main reasons WHY people start a side gig – they aren’t making a comfortable income from their day job.
BUT – a major difference between those who earn less than a few hundred dollars per month and those who go on to become wildly successful entrepreneurs earning six-figures or more from their passion is that the winners invested in their business, and in themselves.
Tracy and I didn’t get lucky with our blog. We invested in coaching throughout our blogging career. We learned strategies that made the best use of our limited time.
The coaching that we invested in back in 2010 took our blog from earning less than $300/month to making enough for us to actually live on is under three months!
Investing is not comfortable, and it shouldn’t be. The more skin in the game you have, the more committed you are to your success.
Here’s another myth I need to bust – that $47-$97 e-book isn’t going to transform your passion into a six-figure business.
And neither will all of the free information that you can glean from Google (or else you would already be earning six-figures doing what you love.)
When Tracy and I stayed within our comfort zones and dropped a tiny bit of money ($47, for example) on an information product, it didn’t change anything. We were not invested in our success. We played it small.
But when we stepped out of our comfort zone while scrambling to get resourceful to afford mentorship, our lives changed rapidly.
Yes, putting our own money on the line to grow our business was uncomfortable at times. We had to get resourceful and hustle. But these temporary discomforts were nothing compared to what would have happened if we hadn’t invested in ourselves and our business.
We would never have turned our blog into our life’s work.
Many of the amazing experiences we’ve had over the last 10 years (like our six-month stay in the Yucatan) would never have happened.
Instead, we would have spent the last decade at a day job that left both Tracy and I unfulfilled, frustrated, and caught in the trap of working for someone else – trading our precious time for a salary that barely covered our living expenses, let alone live our lives on our terms.
Do You Want To Turn Your Side Hustle Into Your Main Hustle?
Tracy and I are on a mission in 2018 to help aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself turn their dream into reality.
We know what it’s like to feel trapped in a day job that we hate.
We know what it’s like to know that we have greatness in us, but we don’t have the time, or the know how, or confidence, to build a business.
We know what it’s like to struggle to pay the bills despite working full time.
Or to want to spend more time together as a family.
Or to have more freedom, autonomy, and significance in our lives.
So here’s the deal. I am willing to spend one hour on the phone (or Skype) with you – and it will cost you nothing.
The goal of our phone call (or Skype session) will be to get you crystal clear on your business goals, identify what’s holding you back, and create an action plan to propel you toward your dream.
But, you must be:
- Ultra-committed to turning your passion or side hustle into a business,
- Willing to step (or leap) outside of your comfort zone,
- Willing to get resourceful and do whatever it takes to succeed.
If this sounds like you, and you’re tired of side-hustling and want to turn your passion into your life’s work, then let’s chat.
Simply book a FREE 1-hour strategy session with me and let’s get you moving toward your goal!
About Davy & Tracy
Hey there! We're Davy & Tracy Russell, the husband-and-wife team behind this website. We help trailblazers break through barriers so they can turn their passion into their life's work through entrepreneurship. How can we help you?